Middle East expat workers earn top salaries

Published:  13 Oct at 6 PM
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Tagged: Australia, UAE, Jobs
A recent survey claims that Western expats based in the Arab Gulf states receive a higher salary than equivalent Arab or Asian workers in similar jobs.

The survey undertaken for Gulf Business, a Middle Eastern expat magazine, has revealed that Western expats take home much larger pay packets than expats from other Middle Eastern and Asian countries doing the same roles. Although it’s widely accepted that pay rates in the Gulf are high, the survey points out the discrepancies between salaries for foreign staff of different nationalities.

An example given is that of a Western expat working in Saudi Arabia, who receives six per cent more than his Arab counterpart and 30 per cent more than an Asian expat. Western workers are at the top of the tree across the Gulf states, with Asians the worst paid.

The emirate with the largest differential is the UAE, with a 12 per cent pay gap between Westerners and Arabs and a massive 40 per cent gap between Westerners and Asians. According to recruitment firms specialising in Gulf placements, Western workers have higher salary expectations and are considered more knowledgeable, advanced and capable of independent thought due to the status of their countries of origin.

Arab employers believe that Asian workers employ more traditional and conservative patterns of reasoning and adapt less easily to new cultures and methods, even although the East is catching up fast. One headhunting firm suggested that another reason for Westerners’ higher salaries was the ever-increasing cost of perks such as school fees, housing and relocation expenses now being included in salaries rather than paid as extras.
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